Editor's Letter

Gardens, Golf and Howards

Photograph by Chichi Ubina

Hurray, hurray. It’s finally May. Did you hang a basket of flowers on anybody’s door?

In this issue, with its focus on gardening and landscape, we take you outside into Adria de Haume’s fairy-tale garden garbed in gentle pastels — double-pink peonies, lavender and white clematis, a pink dogwood espaliered on a wall. From there we wander over to the links and proudly watch our junior golf champs swing into action.

Next Cinnie Coulson visits with former selectman Ned Lamont, who has decided to take on long-entrenched U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman in a Democratic primary. You’ll find out what’s making him run.

And wonder of wonders, one morning we managed to get the Ron Howard family all together at the same time in their backcountry home. Well, three of them anyway — Ron, the Oscar-winning director of A Beautiful Mind (and director of the Da Vinci Code, slated to come out this month); his wife Cheryl, the author; and their eldest daughter Bryce, the actor.

I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for this warm, wonderful family, who years ago, when our daughter Audrey was determined to get a potbellied pig, invited us over to meet theirs. His name was Fritz. Among other things we discussed, like how to housebreak a porker (Fritz oinked to go out), Cheryl told us you have to pick up a baby pig a lot so he gets used to it. Otherwise, since pigs use their sharp little hoofs to defend themselves, they squeal bloody murder when lifted off their feet.

Having grown up with a houseful of weird animals (including an armadillo), Cheryl did the main show and tell, with Ron putting in his two cents as he passed through the kitchen. (Fritz loved to lie in front of the warm dishwasher when it was on.) Ron seemed a natural teacher and admitted he might have followed that career if he hadn’t gone into show biz. But then, his mother was a teacher. In fact, when Ron’s parents visited from California and Bryce was in kindergarten at Greenwich Country Day, his mother Jean Howard liked to spend the day at school and read to the children. “They loved her,” recalls Bryce’s kindergarten teacher, my friend Barbara King, who seems to have total recall of every tot she ever taught during her thirty-year tenure there. “And her granddaughter was a lovely child, a little red-headed charmer.”

Big news: Moffly Publications has just won two top awards from the Connecticut Press Club. Our longtime writer Tim Dumas copped “Best Feature of the Year” for his piece “Afflicted by Affluence” that ran in GREENWICH Magazine last August. It had to do with the challenge of raising children in an affluent society. And our Westport Magazine Editor Chris Hodenfield won for Best Column. Tim and Chris are the kind of talented people who keep our publications truly “award-winning,” and we’re proud of them. 

Happy reading.